Wesley College Melbourne Australia
Wesley College Melbourne

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Middle School play

Picnic at Hanging Rock production

"Picnic at Hanging Rock" by Laura Annawyn Shamas

Based on the novel by Joan Lindsay, and the film by Peter Weir 

On Valentine’s Day, 1900, a party of schoolgirls heads off for a romantic picnic at this famous Victorian landmark. A few climb the rock. Not all of them come back. Who doesn’t know this opening scenario of a famous story? The mystery of what happened that afternoon seems now like a part of our cultural landscape, thanks to both the best-selling novel and venerated film.

Some swore it was a true story. But it is fiction of the kind that asks more questions than it answers, and is ideal material for an enthralling stage play. Who are the mysterious strangers who watched the girls climb the rock? Has a crime been committed? Why are no bodies found? The play subtly takes us into realms of the supernatural and the metaphysical, as well as dramatising the divisions in the local society that follow the “incident”.

The play is a wonderful portrait of an earlier Australia, and emotionally compelling.

You’ll need to come along prepared to be challenged by the mysterious and the unresolved. Who knows, perhaps- as one character describes the girls - they were Botticelli angels after all? The play keeps you, like all good theatre, very much on edge.

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